During a morning of community service, a small group of students huddled among stacks of canned food in the Yamhill County Action Partnership food bank, receiving instructions to sort the food. The group was one of six student service teams participating in the Taste of Service event Sept. 17 in the McMinnville Community.
Along with work at the YCAP food bank, 80 students clocked in more than three hours of service at Miller Woods, Barbra Boyer Farms, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, YCAP Transitional Housing and McMinnville Senior Center.
The service event was specifically designed for first year students and it satisfied a requirement for their Colloquium courses, said senior Lori McEwen, director of alternative spring break and first year community service programs.
“It’s important for freshmen to get involved early so that they can become more aware of the needs of the community and can allow themselves time to create better relationships with community partners,” McEwen said.
Participating students completed projects such as weeding flower beds and gardens, organizing building supplies and sorting household goods.
Freshman Kevin Ramero was the assistant site manager at the YCAP food bank service site, where he said he had served at a food bank before and viewed community service as an important aspect of college.
“It definitely helps you understand the community and what’s going on,” Ramero said. “It broadens your view of the area.”
Laura Kushner, YCAP volunteer coordinator of community outreach, said she spent four years at a private college similar to Linfield and that the small setting makes it important for students to venture into their communities.
“I strongly believe in the college bubble,” Kushner said. “It’s easy to get focused on a few blocks of space, but when you’re preparing for your life outside of college, it helps to know exactly what you’re preparing for.”
McEwen said the event served as a jumping point for students who are interested in participating in future community service events throughout their college experiences.
“It allowed students to get a feeling for service in the community while serving alongside other students new to campus,” she said.
McEwen said that students who weren’t able to participate in the event but want to get involved in community service should come to Riley 216, the Office of Community Service and Engagement.
Joanna Peterson/Managing editor
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